Headway Suffolk

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Dawn Astle heads Headway Suffolk Neuro Conference

Neurology charity Headway Suffolk is delighted to confirm its four keynote speakers for its sixth Neuro Conference on Wednesday 7 October.

The conference hopes to be able to accommodate 50 delegates at Wherstead Park, near Ipswich, with social distancing and hygiene measures in place, as well as being streamed live online to allow as many people as possible to hear from the line-up of speakers.

Dawn Astle – campaigner for football safety

Dawn Astle is a prominent campaigner for better safety in football after the death of her father, former England striker Jeff Astle, at the age of 59 due to the concussive effects of heading a leather football.

Jeff enjoyed a 10-year career at West Brom and hit the winner in the 1968 FA Cup final. He donated his brain to medical science and research found that he had died from CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy), a degenerative brain disease found in individuals with a history of head injury.

Dawn and the family set up The Jeff Astle Foundation to raise awareness of brain injury in sport at all levels, and to work with governing bodies to deliver independent research into the links between sport, brain injuries and neurodegenerative illnesses.

Sam Norris – speedway rider and brain injury survivor

Sam Norris is a 16-year-old speedway rider from Suffolk who had to relearn to walk and talk again after being struck by a bike at 50mph while racing in a British Youth Championship in Glasgow in June 2019, which left him in a coma.

Sam’s recovery has been described as remarkable by medics and his positive attitude and intense fitness regime saw him achieve his ambition of getting back on a bike again just eight months later, despite living with chronic fatigue.

Sam will be joined by mum Claire, a special needs teaching assistant and intervener, who is keen on highlighting the hidden effects of brain injury after struggling to get the right educational support for Sam, as well as how attitudes from others can change and the importance of safety equipment.

Dr Michael Grey – Rehabilitation Neuroscientist

Dr Michael Grey is a rehabilitation neuroscience at the University of East Anglia (UEA), specialising in neuroplasticity and neurorehabilitation associated with acquired brain injury, including stroke and mild traumatic brain injury (concussion).

He is Co-Principle Investigator with Prof Tony Belli for the Repetitive Concussion in Sport (RECOS) trial being conducted at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham.

Dr Grey is lead researcher into the UEA’s new project to test former professional footballers for early signs of dementia, which was announced at the start of the year.

Dr Sajid Alam – consultant in stroke medicine

Dr Sajid Alam is a consultant in stroke medicine at the East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation and a stroke lead at Ipswich Hospital.

He has a particular interest in the management of TIAs (transient ischaemic attacks or ‘mini-strokes’), hyper-acute strokes and the complex investigations often required after a stroke.

His main speciality is medicine for the older person, and his sub-speciality expertise is in stroke medicine, particularly in cryptogenic and young stroke.

Tickets are priced at £40 for the conference at Wherstead Park and £20 for the virtual conference.

To book Wherstead Park tickets, go to: http://bit.do/HWConference_Ipswich.

To book online stream tickets, go to: http://bit.do/HWConference_Virtual.

If you want to save on Eventbrite’s booking fee, contact us directly on 01473 712225 or by email helenmfairweather@headwaysuffolk.org.uk.

We would like to thank our kind sponsors for making the Neuro Conference possible: Irwin Mitchell, East of England Coop, Ashtons Legal and Slater and Gordon.

Headway Suffolk has attracted great interest in its conferences, which last year featured broadcasting legend Chris Tarrant talking about his life after a stroke.

Previous speakers have included famous scientist Stephen Hawking, TV health expert Robert Winston and author Jane Hawking.

This year’s event promises to be another highlight in Suffolk’s calendar with professional keynote speakers on brain injury, stroke, dementia and neurology, as well as hearing about Headway Suffolk services and future projects.

Headway Suffolk is a registered charity that supports adults with brain injury, stroke and neurological conditions and their families through an extensive range of rehabilitation and therapy services.

Brain injury can affect every aspect of who we are and its physical, cognitive, emotional and behavioural effects can have devastating consequences for individuals and their families.

According to statistics by Headway UK, there were 3,201 admissions (8.7 per day) to hospital in Suffolk with a brain injury in 2016-17. Head injury was the most prevalent cause (41.18%) with 1,318 (789 male, 529 female). This include is any injury that results in a trauma to the brain – typically road traffic accident, assault, fall or accident.

Our Summer Newsletter is here!

Today we have released our Summer Newsletter, with the latest news and events from Headway Suffolk:

We look at how we had to adapt our services to survive the impact of coronavirus and support our clients in new and engaging ways, and why we launched our Coronavirus Appeal to raise £100,000 to cover loss of funding.

We look ahead to our two main events coming up – the Cycle Ride and Walk on Saturday 5 September and the annual Neuro Conference on Wednesday 7 October.

A national survey of brain injury survivors reveals that Headway Suffolk is needed now more than ever and how we face an uphill battle to survive with local authorities coming under increasing financial pressure.

We also look at how we are working with local companies and community groups to raise awareness of Headway Suffolk’s services and how we help local people.

To receive the latest news from Headway Suffolk direct to your inbox, sign up to our mailing list.

Read it here: Headway Suffolk Summer Newsletter 2020.

Headway Suffolk services in need, according to survey

Local brain injury charity Headway Suffolk is needed now more than ever according to the results of a survey published by the national arm of the charity.

The survey, which explored the impact of COVID-19 on people affected by brain injury, found that more than half of brain injury survivors have lost access to rehabilitation services as a result of lockdown.

Early rehabilitation following brain injury can be crucial in helping survivors to regain a degree of independence and relearn lost skills, including walking and talking. But 57% of those who sustained their injuries within the past two years say their access to specialist treatment has been negatively impacted.

A further 64% of those living with the long-term effects of brain injury reported a deterioration in their mental health as a result of the measures implemented to control the spread of COVID-19, while almost two thirds say they now fear for their futures.

The key findings revealed:

  • 57% of people who sustained a brain injury within the past two years reported that their rehabilitation has been negatively impacted
  • Two thirds of respondents reported a negative impact on their psychological wellbeing
  • 62% of respondents fear for their future
  • 50% have lost access to vital support that helps them to cope
  • 42% say their rehabilitation has been negatively impacted

(more…)

Woodbridge Rotarians set marathon challenges for Headway Suffolk

Energetic and enthusiastic Rotarians from Woodbridge Rotary Club will take part in a host of fundraising activities that has never been seen before at the club.

Inspired by Captain Tom Moore, the war veteran who raised £42m for the NHS by walking 100 laps of his garden, at least 16 members of the club will complete a personal activity 26 times between Saturday 25 – Sunday 26 July in support and to raise funds for brain injury charity Headway Suffolk.

The list of challenges include:

  • Simon Holloway, one of the youngest members at 67, is playing 26 games of Golf Croquet
  • John Pearson, former CEO of Otley College, is walking the Kyson Point to Tide Mill 26 times
  • Geoff Springett and Edward Fletcher are walking around their gardens 26 times
  • Cliff Longman is chipping a golf ball successfully into its target from 25m away
  • Ashley Meyer is reading aloud 26 scenes from Shakespeare’s plays – 4 from the Bandstand
  • President Robin Sanders is walking from Woodbridge to Felixstowe – a distance of 26 miles
  • Jeff Dunn is doing 26 keepie-uppies while walking 26 circuits of his garden
  • John White is potting 26 plants to sell
  • Keith Dowse has already completed playing 26 games of oldies double tennis
  • Sandy Hamilton is taking 26 photos around his village
  • Ron Hepworth, the oldest member at 90+ years young, is hitting 26 golf shots in his garden
  • Robin Pivett will be taking photos of street signs around Kesgrave
  • Roger Burgess will be picking up 26 pieces of litter

(more…)

Neuro Conference at Wherstead Park and streamed live

Neurology charity Headway Suffolk is delighted to confirm that its sixth Neuro Conference will go ahead as planned on Wednesday 7 October.

The conference hopes to be able to accommodate 50 delegates at Wherstead Park, near Ipswich – subject to meeting government restrictions following the coronavirus pandemic – with strict social distancing and hygiene measures in place.

In addition, the event will be streamed live to delegates who purchase tickets to the virtual version of the conference, ensuring that as many people as possible hear from the line-up of speakers.

The charity’s chief executive Helen Fairweather said: “This is a new and exciting way of bringing the conference to delegates in a safe and responsible way. We are working hard with Wherstead Park to make this happen.

“We have a fantastic line-up of speakers that we are excited to be bringing together for the conference, both in person to delegates and streamed live.”

Tickets are priced at £40 for the conference at Wherstead Park and £20 for the virtual conference. They can be purchased by telephoning the charity on 01473 712225 or by email helenmfairweather@headwaysuffolk.org.uk. Full details at www.headwaysuffolk.org.uk /events.

Headway Suffolk has already announced speedway rider Sam Norris and his mum Claire as keynote speakers to discuss Sam’s traumatic brain injury after a crash last June.

Sam, 16, from Linton near Haverhill, was in a coma and had to relearn to walk and talk after his head was struck by an opponent’s bike at 50mph while racing in a British Youth Championship in Glasgow.

His recovery has been remarkable to the extent he was back on a bike again just eight months later, despite living with chronic fatigue – a common effect of brain injury.

Sam wants to raise awareness of how much a brain injury can suddenly change a person’s life and how fitness and determination are key to recovery.

Claire, a special needs teaching assistant and intervener, is keen on highlighting the hidden effects of brain injury after struggling to get the right educational support for Sam, how attitudes from others can change after an injury, and the importance of safety equipment.

Further keynote speakers will now be announced in due course.

Headway Suffolk has attracted great interest in its conferences, which last year featured broadcasting legend Chris Tarrant talking about his life after a stroke. Previous speakers have included famous scientist Stephen Hawking, TV health expert Robert Winston and author Jane Hawking.

This year’s event promises to be another highlight in Suffolk’s calendar with professional keynote speakers on neurology, brain injury and stroke, dementia, as well as hearing about Headway Suffolk services and future projects.

Headway Suffolk is a registered charity that supports adults with brain injury, stroke and neurological conditions and their families through an extensive range of rehabilitation and therapy services.

Brain injury can affect every aspect of who we are and its physical, cognitive, emotional and behavioural effects can have devastating consequences for individuals and their families.

According to statistics by Headway UK, there were 3,201 admissions (8.7 per day) to hospital in Suffolk with a brain injury in 2016-17. Head injury was the most prevalent cause (41.18%) with 1,318 (789 male, 529 female). This include is any injury that results in a trauma to the brain – typically road traffic accident, assault, fall or accident.

It’s back! Cycle Ride and Walk now on 5 September

Our 12th annual Cycle Ride and Walk is back on and will now take place on Saturday 5 September.

The ride, starting and finishing at our hub on West Road in Ipswich (IP3 9FJ), comprises 30, 40 and 50 mile routes through Ipswich, Felixstowe, Newbourne and Martlesham, plus there’s a 10-mile walk through Ipswich town centre.

It’s free to take part if you gain sponsorship of £10 minimum, or just a £10 registration fee. All participants receive a warm welcome and free refreshments at the finish!

It is open to everyone and is an ideal team-building exercise for companies with the Headway Shield presented at our Awards Dinner later in the year to the team that raises the most sponsorship.

Registration and sponsorship forms are available on our events page. You can start your sponsorship online through our Virgin Money Page at https://bit.ly/2zjgsar. Join the Facebook event page at www.facebook.com/events/3159572714063364.

Headway Suffolk is embarking on exciting plans to build a new hub and housing facility for Suffolk and last year 68 people braved Storm Hannah to take part in the Cycle Ride and raise £6,300 for the provision.

Among those were Tony and Leanne Baines, who propelled their 18-year-old son Mark, who is blind and deaf after suffering a brain haemorrhage as a young child, in his specially-adapted wheelchair bike around the course.

Leanne said: “It was hard work up and down the hills as Mark’s bike is very heavy, but it was a fantastic experience and everyone enjoyed it, including Mark, who was singing all the time! It was a great atmosphere.”

A large bulk of the cyclists were from Seven Group, an asset and property management company.

The group’s deputy MD Steve Cole said: “The weather wasn’t good for cycling, so we reduced the miles to 30 for safety reasons and everyone got round with no traumas or issues. Headway Suffolk is a great charity doing tremendous work and we’re very pleased to support it.”

Leading law firm Ashtons Legal also took part and Dave Richardson, their Customer Relationship Manager, said: “The weather was brutal and the strong winds made getting up hills double the amount of work than usual. But it was an enjoyable ride and we like supporting Headway Suffolk, so it makes it all worthwhile.”

Alicia Ray and Ellen Burman made it round safely with smiles on a tandem as they enjoyed the camaraderie and team spirit.

Alicia said: “It was a lot of fun and not as difficult as we had expected. We got a good rhythm and worked really well together. Other cyclists were asking how we were doing and giving us support. It was really friendly.”

Read the full review: www.headwaysuffolk.org.uk/2019/04/29/storm-hannah-cant-halt-headway-cyclists-and-walkers.

Ebay for Headway Suffolk

The average UK home has 42 unwanted items worth an estimated £500, yet new data has revealed almost half of people admit to binning items they no longer need.

If you’re making use of lockdown by having a clear-out, you can sell your items on eBay and donate the proceeds to Headway Suffolk to help us deliver our services during this difficult time.

We aren’t registered on eBay but you can donate the sale value at https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/donation-web/charity?charityId=1002942.

Virtual Hub now available to new clients

Headway Suffolk is offering rehab and support to people with brain injury, stroke and neurological conditions on the internet through its virtual hub.

As a result of Covid-19, Headway Suffolk’s day hubs have not been able to operate in the usual way. So that clients did not miss out on vital rehab, a virtual hub was created. Headway Suffolk now feels that it is in a position to offer this to members of the public with a brain injury, stroke or a neurological condition.

The charity’s CEO Helen Fairweather said: “We are delighted with our virtual hub, which operates every weekday. It has kept clients in touch with us and allowed their rehab to continue. It gives them something to look forward to.”

It is hoped in time usual day hubs will open. However, the virtual hubs may continue in the long term, especially for people who find coming into a hub difficult due to transport or fears of infection.

Anyone interested in accessing the virtual hub should contact Helen Fairweather on 01473 712225 or helenfairweather@headwaysuffolk.org.uk  for details and for an assessment so people access the most useful group for them.

To see our full range of services available during the current pandemic, and how you can support us providing these, go to our coronavirus page.

Hats (at home) for Headway Day on Friday

Headway Suffolk is encouraging individuals and businesses to take part in the fun of Hats (at home) for Headway Day on Friday to show support for brain injury survivors.

Hats for Headway is a national campaign day to bring people together to get creative and design a hat, or simply find a funny and wacky one at home, and wear it on the day and share on social media with family, friends, colleagues and Headway’s across the country.

It’s a simple, fun and engaging way of raising awareness of brain injury and the services available by Headway.

The charity asks for just a £2 donation (or more if you can afford it), which can be made by card or paypal at virginmoneygiving.com/charities/headwaysuffolk.

There are also prizes available!

Share your photo on Facebook or Twitter, tag @HeadwaySuffolk in and use the hashtag #HatsforHeadway.

The winner of the best individual photo receives a cycle helmet from Hedkayse.

For companies, the best group photo (use a collage maker – don’t break social distancing rules) receives a full page advert in the national Headway News magazine by Headway UK.

For all Headway Suffolk clients, they are invited to a virtual coffee morning on Friday at 11.30am where wearing your hat is compulsory!

Anna feeling thankful for Headway on Giving Tuesday

As part of #GivingTuesdayNow, Anna Leggett is feeling thankful for the support of Headway Suffolk after suffering a brain injury in a road accident three and half years ago.

Anna, a mother of three from Waldringfield near Woodbridge, was involved in an accident in November 2016 when a Land Rover drove into the back of her car on the A137, which made her head jolt hard back and forwards and caused a concussion/mild diffuse axonal injury (DAI).

Headway Suffolk supported Anna in her first year of recovery with its rehab and therapy services, including an Understanding Brain Injury course, counselling and Brainy Dogs visits. She later made a substantial donation to thank the charity.

Anna said: “Thank you so much for the care and support you provided for me when I suffered a mild brain injury. It was fantastic and really helped my recovery.

“About nine months after my accident, Sophie paid us a couple of visits with Hope and Bee, two Brainy Dogs. This was a great pick me up for me and my three children – it really helped to take our minds off what had happened to me.

“We had so much fun with the dogs and were amazed at how clever they were. Chloe was also in the car with me when the accident happened and, although hasn’t been officially diagnosed, has displayed symptoms of suffering a concussion too.

“When my personal injury case was settled, I wanted to make a donation to Headway because I’m so grateful for what you provided during my first year of recovery.”

Headway Suffolk is asking for others to support its work on #GivingTuesdayNow – a global day of unity in response to coronavirus and a chance to show appreciation to those who have helped others through this challenging time.

Headway Suffolk is continuing to support its clients during the current crisis, with homecare visits, a virtual hub, food deliveries, counselling, a helpline and remote Brainy Dogs therapy. Click to find out our full range of services available during the pandemic.

With the closure of its hubs and other therapy services, the charity has estimated it needs to raise £100,000 to cover the shortfall of the loss of services and fundraising events.

Donations can be made on its Coronavirus Appeal page at virginmoneygiving.com/fund/headwaysuffolkappeal or through other methods by calling 01473 712225.

After Headway, Anna received further rehab from an occupational therapist and a neuro psychologist, as well as input from a neuro physiotherapist at Ipswich Hospital.

Anna explained: “I also did a lot of my own work on diet, lifestyle, exercise and psychology, and I have made a good recovery.

“I’m amazed how much even a so called mild brain injury can affect a person. I still have to manage my symptoms day to day.

“My main symptoms still are fatigue, slower processing, some memory issues, some pain, muddling my word up when I’m tired and less flexible thinking.

“But overall I’m pretty good really and am so thankful for all the help and input I’ve had to get me back to where I am today, pretty much functioning normally most of the time.

“I’m fortunate to have a very supportive husband and three lovely children who have been wonderful and very patient with me.

“We are managing well together with everything going on, though obviously it’s an unsettling time for everyone in the world right now.

“I’ve actually found that many of the skills I learned on my recovery journey are helpful in these new circumstances.

“It’s great to see that Headway are still able to provide some services to their clients.”

Last November, three years after her accident and to mark Road Safety Week, Anna and serious injury specialists CFG Law spoke to the East Anglian Daily Times: www.eadt.co.uk/news/anna-leggett-raises-awareness-of-road-safety-week-1-6378745.

In the article, Anna said: “It’s important people give the road their full attention when they’re behind the wheel. Even at slow speeds, accidents can cause significant injuries.

“My life following this accident has been completely changed. If the driver of the vehicle had been paying greater attention to what they were doing, this could easily have been avoided.

“I want to do anything I can to raise awareness of driving more safely, and it encourages me to know that something helpful and good can come out of my experience.”